Monday, September 24, 2018

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - An Earthquake Hits and the First Responders Race to Help Victims at a Hotel in '7.1'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 2.02 "7.1"

When a massive earthquake rocks Los Angeles, the first responders rush to rescue victims from a crumbling high-rise hotel both under the rubble and high above the ground. Athena must deal with wreckage from a collapsed freeway overpass. Maddie is thrown into the fire as she faces her first crisis as a 911 dispatcher.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of FOX's 9-1-1.

"7.1" was written by Zachary Reiter and directed by Bradley Buecker

Last night's premiere ended on that very precarious moment when Athena is driving on the freeway only for an earthquake to hit and destroy the road right in front of her. That was such a terrifying sight. And now, the show backs up a little in time to show some of the events leading up to that disaster. At first, it's action solely centered around the guests coming into a hotel. The show sets up the stories of a family being amazed by the luxury setting, a wealthy guest needing her emotional support dog, a high school basketball team with one star being scouted by colleges and a CEO coming on to and threatening an employee of his. The show sets up a rich setting of characters who were bound to all get caught up in this major disaster. That's exactly what occurs as well. Well, the drama cuts back in time again to show that Eddie has a son, Athena has a criminal in her back seat and Maddie is learning how to be a 911 operator. But the action does still revolve around the aftermath of this massive earthquake. In fact, Chimney even has to point out that it's the biggest shock that has hit California in twenty years. Meanwhile, Buck is in disbelief that a high-rise wasn't as safe as they are always promised to be in the event of something like this. It's such a chilling visual to see this building leaning over with any support at all. That drives so much of the tension as the firefighters go into action. This building could completely collapse at any moment if they are not too careful. That actually drives most of the story with Jeff. His leg is pinned down. He has a choice to make. It's safer to amputate. It would be selfish of him to risk the lives of so many just in the hopes of being able to play basketball again one day. But he also understands the risk and makes it so the firefighters and the audience can get caught up in this story of a champion. He is embracing so much pain in the hopes that it works out. He wants to do whatever it takes to ensure that he survives fully intact. It's a mission everyone is determined to make work. And they do in the end. That's the plot beat that takes up most of the story in this episode. In fact, the conclusion reveals this to be the first story that will carry out across multiple episodes. It ends on a massive cliffhanger with the CEO committing sexual harassment plummeting to his death and Buck barely holding onto the woman to save her life. It's even more precarious and should fuel the anticipation heading into next week's episode. It also leaves the fates of the firefighters down below in jeopardy because they may be trapped because of the aftershock as well. Meanwhile, Athena has her own intense situation of needing to help a man trapped inside a car that has ignited on fire with no help being able to get to them any time soon. Sure, it's crazy to think of using cement to cool off the fire and stop it from spreading. But it also highlights how this kid does the right thing even though Athena still upholds respect for the law. She is willing to put in a good word without this heroic action being used to completely dissuade her from her job before the earthquake hit.